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Monday, January 28, 2013
|Look carefully and you'll see the tornado in the background|
Students from the University of Colorado at Boulder have teamed up to construct and fly the “Tempest” unmanned aircraft. This team of students wanted to better understand the formation of tornadoes so they flew their airplane where few would dare.
The Tempest, an unmanned electric airplane with a 10-foot wingspan, was flown into the downdraft of a supercell (rotating thunderstorm). Students were testing a hypothesis that this part of the storm has a critical role in the formation of a tornado. What they learned about the genesis of tornadoes is still being sorted out, but the team expects to be back in the air tackling other scientific questions in the next couple of years.
|Tempest Takes Flight|
Eric W. Frew, associate professor, said Tempest proves that unmanned systems are useful to help learn about severe weather, along with wildfires, turbulence, and general atmospheric science. The unmanned aircraft can collect wind speed and other data on a scale of detail not otherwise possible.
Imagine..... only seven or eight years ago, these college students were in 5th or 6th grade studying Science!
Thanks to AOPA for this story. For more information, checkout the following link: